Freaky Friday: A lesson in Mambo Jambo

by admin on July 18, 2013

I haven’t done a Freaky Friday post for a while, in fact my posts have become increasingly sporadic. Kids, work, holidays are taking up too much of my time.

I thought the bizarre dance phenomenon, Mambo Jambo, would make a great Freaky Friday feature. It’s one of the strangest things I’ve seen and is hilarious to watch, if you’ve never seen it before. 

I saw it for the first time in New Asia Bar recently. This shows how little clubbing I do these days (how times change!). 4 locals, white gloves, up on stage, and a line of people on the dance floor all doing identical moves, whilst the dj rocked the house. Well for everyone else he did, I personally hate the 80s music he was playing.

What is Mambo Jambo, you may ask. Watch this first then I will explain.

What’s amazing is how many people know the moves.

A friend and regular frequenter of Zouk, one of the world’s top nightclubs, soon enlightened me. Mambo Jambo, commonly known as Mambo nights, is a theme clubbing night that started Zouk, in Singapore. Mambo Jambo is a spin of the term mumbo jumbo which described the type of music peculiar to the theme night. It began with a somewhat unorthodox mix of 70s and 80s pop hits and house and over the years, it evolved and incorporated rock, dance and hip hop.

The most popular tracks rouse the crowd into making their peculiar dance moves. These moves, usually only involve hand and upper body movements, are usually expressed in sync with the songs’ progression and lyrics.

Some of these songs includes Bananarama’s Love in the First Degree, Jason Donovan’s Too Many Broken Hearts and Rick Astley’s Together forever.

So there you go, a lesson in Mambo Jambo. I guess it’s a bit like us Brits doing the birdy song or the Macarena. These crazy Singaporeans! Who says they never have a laugh?


Susan July 18, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I used to be fro that generation when Mambo Jumbo in Zouk was all the craze. Looking at that video where the older generation aka my mum’s age, makes me cringe and LOL. I heard they even offer it as a dance class in some of the community centres. I swear Mambo Jumbo looks way cooler back in my days!

Sheila July 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hi,i’ve been reading all of the back posts on your blog-thank you so much for all of the tales and advice. We are moving soon and although loads of things seem so differen and a bit frightening we really can’t wait.
I dont think i will throw my hat into this dance craze!!

admin September 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

It really an amazing place to live. You’ll have a great time! No, I won’t be doing crazy dancing either.

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